This post was authored by Nate Rodriguez, a Business Analyst Intern on the Portfolio Management and Enablement team.

Portrait of Nate smiling with his arms crossed.

As a rising senior at Chapman University and a Business Analyst intern at Cisco, my journey here has revolved around my love for learning and the incredible adventures it has brought into my life. From tapping into childhood interests to conquering intern challenges, I’ve realized that success knows no bounds when you embrace curiosity and unleash your hidden talents.

Since childhood, I have always had a hunger for learning and a burning desire to explore new things. When I become fixated on something, there is no getting in the way of it—I have to be the best at it. Growing up in an age permanently transformed by technology, platforms like YouTube make it easier than ever to do so. Using these resources, I was able to teach myself multiple musical instruments, including the piano, guitar, and ukulele. But my thirst for knowledge did not stop there. I also took on the challenge of solving the Rubik’s Cube, something I always thought to be impossible. After years of practice and dedication, and a few too many YouTube tutorials, I was able to solve the infamous cube in just over 10 seconds.

Eventually, I decided to test my skills by competing in my first speed-cubing competition. It was an incredible experience to stand alongside some of the best cubers in the world, including Max Park, the current world record holder. The nerves were there, but the rewards were even greater. Although I did not win these competitions, I saw firsthand some of the most talented people I have ever met, ages six to 55. This journey not only honed my skills but also connected me with a community of like-minded individuals who inspire me to constantly push my boundaries.

Similarly, Cisco’s supportive and collaborative environment has provided me with countless opportunities to learn, grow, and express my creativity. One specific opportunity was the Intern Talent Show, where I decided to showcase my skills through a 2-minute video. Combining my passion for Rubik’s Cubes with art, I created a mosaic using 253 cubes. Each cube has nine forward-facing squares, each representing a single pixel of an image. I solved and meticulously arranged these cubes to form the iconic Cisco logo. I was overwhelmed with joy when my name was called out as a talent show winner!

Intern’s Got Talent – Nate’s Rubik’s Cube Mosaic

The hours I spent creating this art piece were not work for me, but instead, a chance to try something new and challenge myself. This experience reinforced my belief that when you pour your heart and soul into something, the possibilities are limitless.

Nate with a bike in nature.Throughout my journey, there has been one constant reminder: the power of passion and perseverance. Whether mastering an instrument, solving complex puzzles, contributing to a challenging internship project, or creating intricate mosaics, I have discovered that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. My experiences at Cisco have only amplified this belief. The company’s commitment to fostering an environment that celebrates individuality, creativity, and personal growth has allowed me to thrive. It is inspiring to be surrounded by colleagues who support and encourage me to embrace my unique talents.

So, what next? If I have learned one thing about myself in the last few years, there will likely be some other odd hobby that I become fixated on, hopefully bringing me new experiences and life lessons. As I reflect on my journey so far, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities that Cisco has provided me. To all the prospective hires out there and current employees at Cisco, I encourage you to embrace your passions, constantly seek challenges, and consider joining the incredible community at Cisco. Together, we can redefine success, unleash our hidden talents, and create a future filled with curiosity and creativity.

Ready to be you, with us? Find an opportunity now.

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